“Run, everybody! Save your life! RUN!” yelled Cazador, the fighter in charge of that day’s raid. A second later a black arrow, directed right to his throat, silenced him. Panic raised as the deatheaters and vail, the children of the Darkness, raced towards the small group of surviving elves and humans. Their hits were mercyless and their aiming impeccable. The Light army spread obeying their leader’s last order, but their shaking legs betrayed them and many fell before reaching their salvation.
Nube, the only remaining priest, remembered the far days of her training. “You have nothing to worry about” they had told her “The Goddess is in our side, she won’t leave us alone. With her among us we are invincible.” How easy it had been to believe that soft talk with green grass and white flowers dancing around her at the rhythm of the wind back in her beautiful Keolloseu, the city of the everlasting sun. How easy it had been and what a fool she was for keeping that belief alive until that moment of desperation. She looked around at the hoards of enemies yelling with lunacy, coming closer and closer, and then at all the fallen fighters, archers, defenders and mages; the people she should have watched over where now dying around her and all she could do was stare at the brown oil turn purple, as if it was reflecting the clouded sky. It was just too much for only one single priest and she was exhausted.
Suddenly a blonde ranger fell down right at her feet, with a long wound going across his chest. He looked up at her with his huge blue eyes and smirked. Then he remained still. Nube choked, her body wanting to cry and throw up at the same time, overwhelmed with helplessness. An arrow flashed close to her face and got lost somewhere behind her, but she did not notice. Nube didn’t take her eyes off the dead ranger until she felt something hot going down her cheek. The arrow had made a deep cut on her face and she was bleeding. Her head had been missed by mere luck. She looked at the fallen elf one more time and imitated her companions: she ran.
She went back millions of years of evolution and trusted her life to her natural instinct. She didn’t even see where she was going. Her legs started to ache, her lungs were screaming for air, she saw dozens of arrows falling centimeters away from her feet and both Furies and Lights lying on the dry land, motionless, lifeless. Her staff slipped from her hand and she didn’t stop to pick it up. A moment later she heard it crack at her back. Somebody had stepped on it: she was being chased. She didn’t dare look over her shoulder. Why had she gone to war? Why would she ever do that? Was her life less valuable than the pride of a shy deity? Would she pay this ill decision with her life?
Suddenly he ground under her feet disappeared. She closed her eyes and began falling, falling… Was she dead? A dark coldness embraced her, swallowed her and then pushed her up. She broke the surface and breathed. In her blind race Nube had fallen from a hill into the black waters of Proelium. The priest looked up, expecting to see her attackers jump after her, but the hill was too high and the huge warriors who were chasing her had decided to hunt someone less slippery instead. Nube could hear the screams of the massacre still close to where she was so she muttered a prayer in favor of the lost souls, for friends and enemies alike, and swam away in silence, her clear tears mixing with the dirty water. She crawled out of the cursed pond, the white robes soaked with black liquid and her cut still bleeding, and ran towards a small and tattered hut in the middle of the dead land. She went inside and laid on the dirt floor. She lost consciousness immediately.
It was nighttime when Nube woke up. It took her a few moments to remember the war, the massacre, the chase… She repressed the urge for yelling. Instead she lifted her hand to a side of her face and felt dry blood, a lot of it. With the sleeve of her robe she started to rub if off, but as soon as she started she froze. Something was moving outside the hut, in the deep darkness of the night in the war zone. Nube heard the steps of at least 3 people, and they were getting close. For a happy second she thought it could be survivors of her army and smiled. But her smile faded away as quickly as it had appeared, when she heard rough voices talking in a language she loathed and had heard only during the battles and in her most cruel nightmares. It was the language of the Union of Fury. She covered her mouth and remained as quiet as she could, barely daring to breathe.
The group of enemies was getting closer. Nube prayed for them to pass by, but it was as if the wrong goddess had heard her, because they stopped right in front of her hiding place. The priest almost fainted when she heard them speak one of the only four words her language and the language of the intruders shared: “Human” they said. Human.
Nube looked around for her staff but she remembered with pain that it had been lost in her race for survival. She wondered if the race had been worth it, with death just a couple of meters away, calling her with a rough and mocking voice. The furies kept talking in deep grunts and strong sounds that’s seemed like the crack of stones for a time that seemed eternal for Nube. The priest was shaking. Finally one of the furies, probably a vail, yelled and the discussion was over. They started to walk away. Nube was still shaking furiously, but a huge wave of peace went over her entire body. She imagined herself back in Keolloseu breathing again the clean air and surrounded by the smiling faces of her people, thanking her, welcoming her. She leaned her back against the wall of the hut. The rotten wood creaked. In the silence of Proelium that insignificant sound rose up to the sky like a thousand yells.
Nube froze again. She blinked and there they were, the three furies, staring down at her inside the breaking hut: an assassin and two warriors, their faces reflecting amusement and a crazy thirst for human blood. Nube knew she was about to die but for some strange reason she didn’t feel afraid, but some kind of bizarre comfort, some kind of unexpected tranquility that filled her like an elixir running in her veins, giving her strenght. She felt no pain when the claws of the assassin went through her chest and the warm blood that came from her wound was like a protecting blanket. She heard in the distance the laughing of the vail as her soul departed from the broken body and as she was pulled away from the heaviness and into the soft arms of her goddess. “Welcome home” said the goddess as she smiled tenderly. Nube was, after all, victorious.